Friday, January 23, 2009

Gaza in Ruins

A News Special by Al-Jazeera

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"We Will Not Go Down" (Song for Gaza) by Michael Heart

Visit Michael Heart's website to download this song in Mp3 format - with this message from its author:

I would like to request that after downloading the song from this page, you kindly donate directly to a charity or an organization dedicated to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. Worthy of note is UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), which has been helping Palestinian refugees since their dispossession in 1949. Please click here to donate through them:

Which speaks for me as well: please donate to UNRWA, the people of Gaza urgently need all the help they can get!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It is to you I speak, antipodal men,

I speak man to man,

with the little in me of man that remains,

with the scrap of voice left in my throat,

my blood lies upon the roads, let it not, let it

not cry out for vengeance!

The death-note is sounded, the beasts hunted down,

let me speak to you with these very words

that have been our share-

few intelligible ones remain.

A day will come, surely, of thirst appeased,

we will be beyond memory, death

will have finished the works of hate,

I will be a clump of nettles beneath your feet,

-ah, then, know that I had a face

like you. A mouth that prayed, like you.

When a bit of dust, or a dream,

entered my eye, this eye shed its drop of salt. And when

a cruel thorn raked my skin

the blood flowed red as your own!


A day will come, no doubt, when this poem

will find itself before your eyes. It asks

nothing! Forget it, forget it! It is nothing

but a scream, that cannot fit in a perfect

poem. Have I even time to finish it?

But when you trample on this bunch of nettles

that had been me, in another century,

in a history that you will have canceled,

remember only that I was innocent

and that, like all of you, mortals of this day,

I had, I too had a face marked

by rage, by pity and joy,

an ordinary human face!

(Benjamin Fondane)


BBC: evidence that Israeli forces have been deliberately "turkey-shooting" fleeing Gazan civilians

"The Israeli army was saying: 'This is the Israeli Defence Forces, we are asking all the people to leave their homes and go to the school. Ladies first, then men.'

"We decided to send the women first, two by two," he said.

First to step outside was the wife of his cousin, Rawhiya al-Najar, 48.

"The army was about 15 metres (50 feet) away from the house or less. They shot her in the head," he said.

The woman's daughter was shot in the thigh but crawled back inside the house, he said.

For several hours, the family telephoned the Red Crescent, human rights organisations and Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah in the hope of co-ordinating safe passage to evacuate people injured in the earlier shelling, Mr Najar said.

Several hours later, no help had arrived.

"We decided that's it, we're going to die, we are [going] to run and all die at once," he said.

"When we did that they started shooting with heavy ammunition from a machine gun on top of a tank," he said.

All the adults carried white flags, he said, adding that he was still grasping a piece of white cloth as he spoke over the telephone a day later.

"They told us you all have to go to the centre of the town, where the school is.

"We put the women first, and we put our children on our shoulders, with white bandanas on their heads.

"When we were walking, with the women first, they saw soldiers and they started to shout to them, to tell them 'we have children, we have children'. They started to shoot us. My aunt was killed with a bullet in her head."

... the ICRC said it found four small children who had waited with their dead mothers, apparently with no food or water, for four days last week.

Mr Shtewi said 17 children - aged between six weeks and 15 years, and six women, were in the house in the west of the neighbourhood.

"We have tried to leave the house during the three-hour humanitarian ceasefire, but we got shot at," he said.

See also B'Tselem reports


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Gaza is burning - the world is silent...

"They know no limits now"

Canadian human rights advocate Eva Bartlett writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 3 January 2009:
It's a new year, a new Nakba, and an old scene; Israel is bombarding Gaza once again and the world is standing idly by, sitting on a fence very different from the electrified border fence encaging Gaza, or the separation wall dividing and ghettoizing the West Bank. The world sits on the fence, justifying Israel's massacre of a civilian population already dying from the siege.

We are four ambulances out tonight, versus two last night. The ambulances weave nimbly along blacked-out streets of a manufactured ghost town -- like the streets all over Gaza -- dodging fresh piles of rubble,

It's absolutely impossible, unbelievable, it's a massacre. "They know no limits now," the medics report. "They are going crazy."

We pass shells of houses, mosques, schools and shops, and see streams of panicked residents fleeing for their lives. Many more began to flee this morning after yet another night of bombardment on and around their houses. (...)Acrid smoke from the shelling poisons the air. The feeling of being utterly surrounded by war planes, tanks, bulldozers and warships increases as news comes of the latest attack around Gaza: an orphanage in Gaza City, near the Palestine Mosque, with whispers that the holy place is next, marking at least 10 mosques destroyed. The number of dead and injured from the attack on the Ibrahim al-Makadma Mosque today is 11 and 50 respectively, and rising.

The calls for help from the northwest region, and from 500 kilometers east of this ambulance station, must go unanswered. The medics must coordinate with Israel via the ICRC. A bitter irony; the occupier denies permission to leave, the occupier invades, the invader kills and injures, and -- beyond belief -- holds the power to grant permission to retrieve those that the invader has injured or killed.

My article ends in continued disbelief -- to the thuds of explosions and Apache blades; to the staccato of firing into the night; and to blasts hitting unknown targets with an unknown end.

Uri Avnery: The calculations behind Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza